Cycling group wants cars to feature external airbags

Cycling group wants cars to feature external airbags

Cycling group wants cars to feature external airbags

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Carmakers are already mandated by safety groups to design vehicle exteriors that minimize damage to pedestrians upon impact. We’ve seen rules that stipulate maximum bonnet heights and front overhang lengths as well as the development of a ‘pop-up’ bonnet (pictured), but now the Dutch Cycling Federation (DCF) wants car designers to go a step further and install externally venting airbags on all passenger cars.

The cycling group cites a recent study that shows up to 60 lives per year could be saved in the Netherlands alone if air bags were installed on the hoods of cars. These same airbags could also prevent up to 1,500 serious injuries per year, reports Automotive News. The DCF is now calling on the government and the car industry to take action and make a decision on the roll-out of new external airbags.

The technology is already here. Sweden auto parts supplier Autoliv Inc has already developed an air bag that inflates from the bottom of the windscreen and both Jaguar and Nissan have developed bonnets that pop-up to absorb more of the impact during collisions with pedestrians or cyclists. There are also a number of companies developing jackets with inbuilt airbags so if cyclists are truly concerned they will soon be able to take their own initiative and improve their own personal safety.
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Comments (15)
  1. I want an airbag every ten feet along the sidewalk in case I trip...

  2. a jacket with an inbuilt airbag. that would be funny if someone punched you.

  3. When cyclists start obeying red lights I'll stop hitting them! Has anyone given any thought to the weight they will add to the vehichle (the air bag not the now live cyclist you have collected), cost of repair, and of course the larger engine required to carry the added weight. So much for saving the planet then?

    Oh I know- hit cyclists now so there is no need to worry about hitting them in the future. It'll be no different than culling deer herds that get over populated. Countries like Holland and China would be a cullers dream come true.

    On a serious note this is just nuts.

  4. i want all cyclists to wear full body airbag suits so that when / if they are hit, they bounce off the bonnet and off the ground harmlessly.....

  5. Why not outlaw cars altogether, THAT would save lives! As would outlawing about everything this world has to offer that makes life worth living...

    This is ridiculous.

  6. There are a lot of opportunities for space junk to land on Earth these days, we probably need a roof-mounted air bag as well, JUST IN CASE it's our day to be hit.

    The better idea is to outlaw cellphone and DVD use by drivers so they can get their minds back on the job at hand - driving! Or maybe actually enforcing DWI laws so I don't see (again and again) a news a story about a 10 time offender hitting and killing a bicyclist -or pedestrian, parked car, or LEO.

  7. MWOW nailed it right on.

    as soon as cyclists start obeying every law that applies to any vehicle, like STOPPING FOR RED LIGHTS... or DRIVING THE RIGHT WAY DOWN A ONE WAY STREET... or DRIVING ON THE CORRECT SIDE OF THE ROAD... then they'll have a right to complain about being hit.

    but even then, they wont. because guess what; its a bicycle. its going to be dangerous. you're nothing but a quickly moving pedestrian who's always on the road.

    I agree though. if these guys want air bags they should make a suit that they can wear, kind of like the one in that james bond movie... air bag inflates... they bounce... they live... everyone gets a good laugh... and the chiropractor gets yet another customer.

  8. I'm sorry to say but cyclist need to learn to be actually respectful of the driving code. Everybody knows and has witnessed this before in the past, a cyclist cutting red lights by swerving onto the sidewalk and back on the road after the pedeastrian crossing. If acollision with a bicyclist occurs, its 80% of the cases their own fault due to their own recklesness.
    In addition, getting exterior airbags installed is just ridiculous. The car's base price and the maintenance costs will increase, making the cars, in my opinion, unneccessarily expensive more than they already are.
    We should all agree that bicylcists should RESPECT the code and in return motorist would automatically be more respectful toward bicyclists.We're a society which takes should take take care and watch out for one another.

  9. Although i agree that some drivers are idiots who crash into cyclists, but it should be cyclists reasonability to wear helmut and protective jacket. If they choose to ride bicycles, they should do what's necessary to protect themselves.

    Although this sounds crude, i sometimes wonder that those idiot cyclists who don't obey rules and get themselves killed on the road, perhaps that's a good thing for everyone? Less idiot genes in the society perhaps

  10. As a cyclist here, yes, I ride by my share of cycling idiots that dont respect the laws of the road and almost end up getting hit or put their lives in danger.....but those are really only recreational cyclists that have the greatest chance of getting hit.

    I'll be the first to admit that I run red lights and cross streets and do things that are illegal, I do it as a defensive I-want-to-get-ahead-of-the-car before the car gets me BUT I only do it when its safe to do so, believe it or not. When you're riding 80 miles everyday, you get a feel for the roads, traffic, what you can and cannot get away with. But there is fault for cars/suvs/trucks taht get super close to you just becayuse they are assholes and want to see u jitter on the road cause of the draft the cars create and how it pushes u off your line. So we both are responsible and can do a better job driving a car adn riding a bike.

    But this whole airbag car thing is ridiculous, it will never happen.

  11. ohmy; I am very courteous, more so than other people, I know this because when i pass a cyclist, I make sure that theres no on coming traffic... or a stay back about 20 meters... and then when traffic clears, i make a full lane change., signal and everything.. and blow by the guy. most other people just squeeze over a little in the lane... so i can appreciate this idea that most people arent giving the cyclists enough on the road.

    but it's exactly that view... the one that you just said. you blow through reds and stop signs because you see theres no traffic around. do you do the same thing in a car? no... cause if you blew a 4 way stop in the middle of a bean field at 2am, the cop would still give you a ticket.. even if you were rolling the stop.

    the problem here is enforcement. cops wont ticket cyclists for anything, even though they are subject to the same laws (and the same fines) as any other vehicle. if a cyclist is some how speeding in a slow residential zone, they should get a ticket. running a red? ticket. stop sign? ticket.

    you shouldnt think "im going to pass this car and get as far ahead as i can"... cause that just means hes going to have to pass you again, and probably nearly kill you again.

  12. I remember being told by a highway engineer about a film he had seen of an unrestrained child dummy standing on the front seat of a car when it did a barrier crash and the airbag went off. The dummy went out the rear window.
    Anyone who has experienced an airbag deployment can tell you that it's a violent event. So what would really happen if a hood-mounted airbag car hit a cyclist? No doubt we'd be retrieving the cyclist out of a tree...

  13. Oh come on people, cyclists are no worse than motorists about obeying the rules of the road. Don't forget that the speed limit is a maximum, not a minimum, going even 1 mph over is breaking the law. On many roads, drivers are pretty much always driving illegally. Then there is rolling through stop signs which is illegal, tail gating, and so on.
    The bottom line is that careless and reckless motorists kill over 1 million people every year including other motorists, pedestrians and cyclists while careless cyclists are mainly a danger to themselves.
    Anyway, the airbags will protect the majority of cyclists who follow the rules of the road as well as pedestrians. It is inappropriate and illogical to suggest that these air bags should not be required just because a few cyclists break the rules of the road.

  14. What triggers the airbag? The impact of the car crashing into the cyclist? Isn't that a bit late to be deploying an airbag? After all, the key participants have already arrived at the scene of the crash and the worst of the damage is alredy done.
    Airbags for cyclists already exist and are marketed primarily at motorcyclists. They use a pull-string tied to the cycle, with an accelerometer as a backup. Not much good for car-bike collisions, but offers more protection than a cycle helmet in the event of a high-side get off and somewhat less protection on impact. Covers the neck, shoulders, upper back and not much else.

  15. Not to worry too much about the low percentage of cyclists who pull dangerous stunts like running reds when there are motor cars nearby: the Darwin effect ensures their numbers are always decreasing; and besides, there is no danger to the car driver and only minor damage to the car.
    On the other hand, there is lots to worry about the equally low percentage of motor car drivers who pull dangerous (or negligent, or distracted, or impaired, or just plain pathological) stunts when there are cyclists nearby. With a ton or so of steel wrapper, the Darwin effect will have little effect on their numbers; and besides, it's the cyclist who will be seriously bent and broken by that same ton or so of steel weapon. Risk to the motor car driver is mostly monetary but is still worth serious consideration: new bike, plus whatever it costs to restore the cyclist to good health and compensate for lost income. Oh yes, and those pesky insurance rates and demerit points...

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